Wednesday Lensday: Mannakin

Wednesday Lensday: Mannakin

When your mum suggests a day out, I’ll assume that for most of you, that means something like a nice lunch, maybe a shopping trip, a pleasant walk or a visit to a theatre.

Perhaps I’m stereotyping mothers but whilst she’d happily do any of the aforementioned activities, there’s certainly nothing stereotypical about my mum and I wouldn’t have it any other way! So, when she opted for a day at a mannequin graveyard for Halloween, I didn’t bat an eyelid.

The ‘graveyard’, Mannakin in Lincolnshire, is the dumping ground for full-bodied and dismembered dummies of all shapes and sizes. A passionate collection accrued by the site’s owner over many years, from vintage creations to just plain odd.

And it’s completely fascinating. You can buy direct, attend craft days or, like we did, have the place to yourself to take weird and wonderful images. Sadly, some mannequins have been damaged by fire but I found these to be the most interesting.

These are some of my favourites of the day, which some will have already seen on Facebook (I’ve just been lazy in sorting them into a blog post).

And then there’s Susan… the ‘child’ I acquired on the visit who now sits proudly adorned in succulents, after a little upcycling, in my kitchen.

Guess I’m just a chip off the old block… 😉

Sow-en is it All Hallows’ Eve? (A history)

Sow-en is it All Hallows’ Eve? (A history)

Tomorrow, tomorrow! It’s only a day a-waaay!

Yes, tomorrow is the last day of October, the night the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest – Hallowe’en! Also known as Samhain (pronounced by some as Sow-en – you see, now the title makes complete sense!) it is officially my favourite celebration of the entire year – I get far more excited over this than Christmas.


Why? Absolutely no idea! I’m not sure whether it’s scooping out all that delightful grot from inside a pumpkin or dressing up to look like an idiot, but I love it. Although Britain is slowly upping its game when it comes to this festival, I’m determined one year to experience it in the US…and then maybe stick around for Thanksgiving too. Please inbox me with your invites…

But what makes a great Hallowe’en? And what’s behind the certain traditions? Here’s my look at what I consider the four most important elements.

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They’re going on a WERE hunt…

They’re going on a WERE hunt…

They’re going to catch a big one…

Maybe. Or perhaps it’ll catch them!

Anyone who follows me on Twitter may have seen earlier this year that I shared an article from a national (albeit, tabloid) newspaper alerting the public to a werewolf being loose in my neighbourhood!

So I thought it was an appropriate re-post for archive day, what with Halloween on the horizon. It will bring you up to speed with Old Stinker but if you’d like to speak to him personally, you can tweet him @oldstinker (He’s a very tech savvy monster and a lovely chap who has put me on his ‘Do not eat’ list – phew!)

Now, being a lover of all things paranormal (and believing in it for the most part) I was naturally intrigued by this newspaper article! It seemed there were several sightings by local people of a large, upright, dog-like creature near a water source, that leaped over high fences and seen to be devouring the wildlife.

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And it’s not just wild animals that’s on the werewolf’s menu – one witness reportedly saw it gnawing on a German Shepherd – isn’t that kind of cannibalism?!

“Of course, it had to be a big dog didn’t it? I bet it was a chihuahua really…”

That was my mum’s take on the story – not thinking to question the likelihood of a supernatural creature lurking in the woodland, but totally disbelieving the accuracy of witness reports!

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Tiny Tales and (Very) Short Stories: Create your own HORROR!

Tiny Tales and (Very) Short Stories: Create your own HORROR!

Last year, as a veritable fledgling in the world of six word stories, I posted this collection with a Halloween-y theme. And I couldn’t repost without an offering for 2016, so have some evil clown…

Let’s make that smile more…permanent!


You’re not laughing now, are you?

However, this year, I’d love you to have a go at your own and put them in the comments. Plus, remember if you like micro-fiction but want more than six words, there’s still time to enter Pat’s challenge for Tweetable tales over at I Can’t Possibly Be Wrong All The Time #Microstory

So come on, join in  – the creepier, the better!

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Top Ten guide to (my) Paranormal Activity!

Top Ten guide to (my) Paranormal Activity!

Sam? A’ ye there Sam? What’s ‘ee sayin’, ‘ee wha’? Ask him again Sam…’ee wants to come through? No! Keep ‘im back Sam. I said n…

Cue eyes rolling back, reminiscent of The Undertaker, a rasping voice, uttering only semi-coherent sentences and a flurry of excitement and panic as crew members rush to remove the man from view.

What we have here folks, is a typical scenario in a past favourite ‘reality’ show of mine: Most Haunted.


Fronted by a team of amateur, paranormal investigators (including an ex-Blue Peter presenter and her cameraman husband), the programme would visit various, notoriously haunted, buildings around the UK, in search of recording the dead, who still apparently resided within.

Their in-house medium, Derek Acorah, would (claim to) converse with ghosts with the aid of his spirit guide, Sam, often absorbing their spirits and chattering in tongues (albeit with a Liverpudlian twang!) before collapsing in an asthmatic heap! People screamed, doors slammed and objects moved of their own volition. In fact, spoons being lobbed out of the ether became a recurring theme. Perhaps this is where the idea came from for the audience watching The Room…

(Have a look. The quality of this is naff but it captures the chortle-worthy ‘possessions’ that made for compelling viewing!)

And it was all kinds of brilliant! Ridiculous and scary in equal measures. Even when it became cheesy and predictable, I faithfully tuned in, hoping to capture a real ghost on camera. My mum was an avid co-watcher, literally sitting on the edge of our sofa, waiting with wide-eyed enthusiasm to have the wits scared from her: My step-father however, was a little more cautious, ready to reject any ectoplasmic offerings with his down-to-earth, skeptical logical mind… from behind the safety of a cushion! It made for a whole load of family fun, so much so, that we decided it would be a good idea to become ghost hunters ourselves!

Fad number 666: Paranormal Investigation. (Do you see what I did there?!)

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